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African no-frills carrier Fastjet has said it is “confident” that it has enough money to continuing operating, despite a warning from the company’s auditors.
Fastjet, which was set up in 2011 with the assistance of Easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, made a pre-tax loss of €55.3 million for its first 18 months in operation up to the end of 2012.
This led the company’s auditor KPMG to state there was a “material uncertainty which casts significant doubt on the group’s and the parent company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
“Its future prospects are dependent upon improved trading, in particular through gaining access to international routes, and raising additional funding,” added KPMG in its official auditor’s report.
The airline’s directors said in response to KPMG’s concerns: “We are confident that the group has access to sufficient finance to continue operating as a going concern for the foreseeable future and, in any event, for a period of at least one year from the date of approval of these financial statements.”
Fastjet began operating in Tanzania in November offering domestic routes but its attempts to expand further in Africa have been hampered by a dispute with the former owner of its Kenyan Fly 540 subsidiary.
The airline is set to move into the South African market within the next few weeks and is targeting early July as the launch date for its initial Johannesburg-Cape Town route.
“South Africa is going to be one of the prime focus areas for Fastjet over the coming period, whilst we review and continue to restructure some of the smaller operations we have elsewhere in Africa,” added the airline in its financial report.
“Discussions are also on going in a number of other African countries with a view to launching airlines under the Fastjet brand.”